The Vancouver Canucks open their 2007-08 campaign tonight facing off against the consenus Stanley Cup favourite San Jose Sharks. Tonight's line-up features in blood as the Canucks search for an offensive threat in their line-up.
Mayson Raymond will make his NHL debut after having an eye-opening training camp the Canucks staff decided to bite the bullet and give the youngster a shot at the big time. Expected to start the game on a line with Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Raymond will provide the Canucks with the ability to create offence off the rush. In the past, Daniel and Henrik would simply cycle the puck (w/ Carter or Pyatt) until the oppostion was caugth out of position. Now using Raymond's break out speed to an advantage the Canucks should be less predictable when they have the puck.
Another speedster, Ryan Shannon will reportedly begin the contest on a line with Ryan Kesler and Markus Naslund. Naslund has struggled to put significant points on the board for the past 3 season and with both Kesler and Shannon providing speed on the forecheck and Shannons ability to see the ice, Naslund could be in for an impressive season.
Roberto Luongo is still the Canucks bread and butter but in the meantime the success of the Canucks will be determined but their ability to add that offensive spark to their attack. Luongo has proven that he can single-handedly steal games but evenutally the pressure may get to him. It is up to the other players in the line-up to take this team to the next level.
Sami Salo is still weeks away from returning to the line-up and the Canucks power-play may struggle without him. Kevin Beiska and Mattias Ohlund will be relied on heavily to provide some offence from the blueline.
The season is upon us, so many questions so few answers, not to worry Alain Vigneault will answer those questions shortly. Decisions on the Canucks line up still need to be made as the club currently sits at 24 players with Salo listed on the injury reserve. Carrying that many players on a roster in the cap era can cause major financial reprocusions down the road. Decisions will be made and the players know it, all the marbles are on the table.
LET'S GET IT ON!!!!